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Old 26th April 2020, 03:04   #1  |  Link
FranceBB
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FranceBB Review - Star Wars the Rise of Skywalker

I have a friend of mine who is a real Star Wars die-hard got really angry when I told him that I got my hands on the Bluray 'cause he doesn't like anything of these new movies and he only likes the old ones, so... I'm not gonna say anything about the story. xD
Beside, there are many websites that talk about it, so it would be pointless...
What I'm gonna talk about instead is the technical aspects of it.
Oh, before I start, I've got the HDR version, so I have no idea about how the SDR one looks like.

First things first, the bluray comes with three disks in total, one for the movie and the other two for extras that explain how they did the movie and so on. The main disk - which contains the movie - has a whopping size of 62.8 GB where 882.7 MB are dedicated to the intro scene (the typical yellow text) and 61.9 GB are dedicated to the movie itself, including the credits. The whole movie is mastered at 1000 nits (cd/m^2) and it's an H.265 10bit 23.976fps progressive BT2100 HDR PQ 4:2:0 type 2 planar. Metadata are exactly the same for both the intro and the movie, which means that Disney encoded the movie as a whole for the masterfile and probably split it into two files (intro and movie) when they made the Bluray, probably because they wanted to make it easier for them to swap the intro according to which country they were selling the BD to (as it needed to be localized). After all, they internally use IMF which does just that, so this approach doesn't surprise me. As to the encoder, before opening it I thought they used ATEME as many other companies, however as I opened it I found out that there's no metadata in it, so I don't really know, it could be anything. Still, I don't get why they don't include this kind of metadata. The only time I made an official BD of the only movie I made, I used x264 for the SDR version and x265 for the HDR version and it was just fine, so I don't really know why other majors don't do that... Anyway, here's the thing I found inside the bluray:

Code:
Video
ID                                       : 4113 (0x1011)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : HEVC
Format/Info                              : High Efficiency Video Coding
Format profile                           : Main 10@L5.1@High
HDR format                               : SMPTE ST 2086, HDR10 compatible
Codec ID                                 : 36
Duration                                 : 2 h 19 min
Bit rate                                 : 53.6 Mb/s
Width                                    : 3 840 pixels
Height                                   : 2 160 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate                               : 23.976 (24000/1001) FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0 (Type 2)
Bit depth                                : 10 bits
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.270
Stream size                              : 52.4 GiB (91%)
Color range                              : Limited
Color primaries                          : BT.2020
Transfer characteristics                 : PQ
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.2020 non-constant
Mastering display color primaries        : Display P3
Mastering display luminance              : min: 0.0001 cd/m2, max: 1000 cd/m2
Maximum Content Light Level              : 724 cd/m2
Maximum Frame-Average Light Level        : 647 cd/m2

Audio #1
ID                                       : 4352 (0x1100)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : AC-3 MLP FBA 16-ch
Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3 + Meridian Lossless Packing FBA with 16-channel presentation
Commercial name                          : Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos
Muxing mode                              : Stream extension
Codec ID                                 : 131
Duration                                 : 2 h 19 min
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 640 kb/s
Maximum bit rate                         : 8 844 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 8 channels
Channel layout                           : L R C LFE Ls Rs Lb Rb
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 31.250 FPS (1536 SPF)
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 640 MiB (1%)
Service kind                             : Complete Main
Number of dynamic objects                : 13
Bed channel count                        : 1 channel
Bed channel configuration                : LFE

Audio #2
ID                                       : 4353 (0x1101)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : AC-3
Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
Commercial name                          : Dolby Digital
Codec ID                                 : 129
Duration                                 : 2 h 19 min
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 320 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel layout                           : L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 31.250 FPS (1536 SPF)
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Delay relative to video                  : -9 ms
Stream size                              : 320 MiB (1%)
Service kind                             : Complete Main

Audio #3
ID                                       : 4354 (0x1102)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : E-AC-3
Format/Info                              : Enhanced AC-3
Commercial name                          : Dolby Digital Plus
Format profile                           : Blu-ray Disc
Muxing mode                              : Stream extension
Codec ID                                 : 132
Duration                                 : 2 h 19 min
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 1 024 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 8 channels
Channel layout                           : L R C LFE Ls Rs Lb Rb
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 31.250 FPS (1536 SPF)
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 1.00 GiB (2%)
Service kind                             : Complete Main

The way HDR comes alive is when there are particular effects like the laser swords that are very bright (almost 1000 nits), yet detailed and when there are dark scenes that are made dark on purpose but are detailed and most importantly without banding thanks to the 10bit precision of H.265. One think I didn't like, though, it's grain. It's not noise, it's grain, it wasn't there when they recorded it, they added it afterwards in post-production before encoding it. The reason why they added it is that it's Star Wars and none of those fancy things like spaceships or fancy-looking aliens exist, so they made them with graphical effects and they would look out of place without grain, like as if they were made out of plastic or something. Same goes for some landscapes as the movie has been shot mostly on green screen, so it would look fake without grain. They added dynamic grain with non so totally unpredictable pattern so that H.265 was able to correctly encode it without sacrificing too many details. When I first saw it, I thought they overdid it a little, however when I watched it on my 40'' Samsung LED TV from the sofa, I didn't notice it as much as I did in front of my computer (or close-up to the TV) and since the public is supposed to watch it from their couch far away from the screen, I think it was fine and it gave a good look to the movie.
The movie itself is in 2.35 LB and they used several different cameras, namely Arriflex 435 ES, Panavision Primo, Retro C-, E- and T-Series Lenses, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo, Retro C-, E-, T-Series, ATZ and AWZ2 Lenses, Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio, Panavision System 65 Lenses.
The reason why they did that is that they wanted the movie to have different looks according to what they were shooting, either close-up scenes, action scenes or landscapes.
For this very reason, I would advise our Katie NOT to watch the movie as one of the camera / lens configuration was used to make something that made Star Wars iconic: the focus on a scene and then the focus (in the same scene) of something else occurring far away with a little warp of the image seen through the lenses, which is something she hates and to which she expressed her hatred via a topic called "rack focus" xD

Now, hoping not to piss off Disney for copyright reasons, I'm gonna upload an extensive series of lossless screenshot of the movie: Img1 - Img2 - Img3 - Img4 - Img5 - Img6 - Img7 - Img8 - Img9 - Img10 - Img11 - Img12 - Img13 - Img14 - Img15 - Img16 - Img17 - Img18 - Img19 - Img20 - Img21 - Img22 - Img23 - Img24 - Img25 - Img26 - Img27 - Img28 - Img29 - Img30 - Img31 - Img32 - Img33 - Img34 - Img35 - Img36 - Img37 - Img38 - Img39 - Img40 - Img41 - Img42 - Img43 - Img44

EDIT: Crap...! Sadly they have been very lossly re-encoded to jpg by the host website to which I uploaded the lossless png images...

Anyway, you should be able to see that thanks to the different variety of cameras, some shots look very sharp and some other don't. Besides, motion blur was still a thing and when Rey is walking she becomes blurred. Besides, if you look at the grain while watching the screenshot, it looks horrible, but in motion and from far away, it doesn't look so bad; besides, in the heavily-compressed screenshots (thank you, image host -.-) the grain looks like big fat dots while in reality when you watch it close-up from your TV, it looks like several tiny tiny points and you can see each and every one of them as H.265 didn't average them out. Although there's no banding thanks to the 10bit planar precision, there's combing in some scenes. The reason is that (I think) it has been shot in log and then graded, so when they made a mask in whatever editing software they used, and they graded things using the PQ curve so that it has big shiny colors, it affected pixels that shouldn't have been affected as the mask wrongly picked them. That occurred on some scenes, however you don't see it unless you're looking for it (or if you're an encoder just like everybody else here xD).
As to the audio, the bluray has three tracks (actually four if you have a localized version): one with a 7.1 audio track and one with a stereo track. The third one is not a "real" track, 'cause it's just a 7.1 track with the narrative, like "the group is headed to... etc". There's no 5.1 track, which means that people watching it in 5.1 have to rely on whatever their BD player uses to downmix. I don't really have a 7.1 configuration, so I wouldn't know how to listen to it other than by downmixing it or listening each individual mono channel separately. I don't know why they didn't include an additional 5.1 Dolby downmix track, though, 'cause if it was me, I wouldn't have let anything to the case, but still perhaps they thought that they didn't want to waste this additional audio bitrate which they could have used for the video, I don't know. Anyway, the track I listened to was fine, with effects of echoes in the sort of cavern of the Sith or effects of the swords or whenever you had a spaceship flying or when you were hearing waves going against the cliff in a planet they visited and so on. I would say though that dialogues coming out from the center were ok but slightly lower than the music which ain't great if you're watching it in the living room at a kinda high volume after having dinner and your neighbours are inside because of the lockdown xD
Anyway, this is what I got with my 5.1 Dolby configuration; I mean, c'mon Disney, not everybody here has a 7.1 system, just include a 5.1 downmix just like you did for the stereo one!

Nonetheless it's a good enough release and although it's not my favorite Star Wars movie (and it's far from being it), it did made me watch it, so I'm ok with it.

Last edited by FranceBB; 26th April 2020 at 03:21.
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Old 26th April 2020, 10:36   #2  |  Link
Jamaika
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While streaming platforms and the decline of physical media have almost totally killed off Blu-ray collectors editions, Disney has nonetheless been reasonably generous with The Rise of Skywalker, even if the absence of an audio commentary or deleted scenes raises the specter of a future re-release.

The Rise of Skywalker is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, encoded with H.265 compression, and finished with a static HDR-10 pass.Eschewing the digital photography Star Wars creator George Lucas pioneered with the prequel trilogy, Rise of Skywalker was lensed on a combination of 35mm and 65mm film, edited digitally, and finalized in a 4K digital intermediate. Although it's highly likely that at least some of the CG effects were rendered in sub 4K resolutions, a 4K digital intermediate is still something of a rarity for modern Hollywood blockbusters, and, as such, this is a bit of a treat.From the get-go, it's clear that Rise of Skywalker is one pristine beast, with a video transfer that doesn't disappoint. The image is sharp and clear, with wonder color saturation and a restrained HDR pass, which makes highlights and bright whites pop suitably. While some might observe that the image is a tad dark, I can reassure that this essentially replicates both the IMAX laser and standard digital theatrical experiences, and there's still plenty of gradation in the shadows - there's no black crush here.While the leap from the 2K presentation is more subtle than most, the 4K UHD presentation of Rise of Skywalker stands heads and shoulders above any other presented thus far.

From the get-go, it's clear that Rise of Skywalker is one pristine beast, with a video transfer that doesn't disappoint. The image is sharp and clear, with wonder color saturation and a restrained HDR pass, which makes highlights and bright whites pop suitably. While some might observe that the image is a tad dark, I can reassure that this essentially replicates both the IMAX laser and standard digital theatrical experiences, and there's still plenty of gradation in the shadows - there's no black crush here.While the leap from the 2K presentation is more subtle than most, the 4K UHD presentation of Rise of Skywalker stands heads and shoulders above any other presented thus far.

Read more: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/94...ray/index.html
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Old 26th April 2020, 15:14   #3  |  Link
FranceBB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamaika View Post
While streaming platforms and the decline of physical media have almost totally killed off Blu-ray collectors editions, Disney has nonetheless been reasonably generous with The Rise of Skywalker
True. By the way, even though I work for a company that literally serves movie on TV and on its own online platform, I still prefer to have BDs for two very simple reasons:

1) Copyright: the rights are generally sold with 2-4 years contracts that can eventually be renewed, so, you know, the streaming service you pay for may have the rights for some time and then they might take that content down and you'll lose it forever. (sure, there are exceptions like the company I work for which lets you download the movie to your decoder via the on-demand menu and keep it 'till you fill your 2TB HDD, but still, it's not the same).

2) Bitrate: it doesn't matter whether it's a Digital TV broadcast, a satellite feed, an on demand file or a streaming service, there is no way that they're gonna use as much bitrate as a BD 'cause everything has a cost and it's way over what many broadcasters can afford (you have no idea how overcrowded hotbird is and how expensive the bandwidth is). Same goes for streaming services, 'cause CDNs have a cost. For UHD contents we have:
Amazon Video - 15 Mbit/s
Netflix: 15.5 Mbit/s (they claim 25 but it's not true)
Disney+: 15-17 Mbit/s
Comcast/Sky (where I work): 25 Mbit/s

Although they look pretty much fine for many people, we all know that there's no way to match UHD-BD quality. Will physical support disks die out in the future? Dunno, time will tell...

Last edited by FranceBB; 26th April 2020 at 15:16.
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Old 26th April 2020, 22:11   #4  |  Link
SquallMX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranceBB View Post
There's no 5.1 track, which means that people watching it in 5.1 have to rely on whatever their BD player uses to downmix. I don't really have a 7.1 configuration, so I wouldn't know how to listen to it other than by downmixing it or listening each individual mono channel separately. I don't know why they didn't include an additional 5.1 Dolby downmix track, though, 'cause if it was me, I wouldn't have let anything to the case, but still perhaps they thought that they didn't want to waste this additional audio bitrate which they could have used for the video, I don't know. Anyway, the track I listened to was fine, with effects of echoes in the sort of cavern of the Sith or effects of the swords or whenever you had a spaceship flying or when you were hearing waves going against the cliff in a planet they visited and so on. I would say though that dialogues coming out from the center were ok but slightly lower than the music which ain't great if you're watching it in the living room at a kinda high volume after having dinner and your neighbours are inside because of the lockdown xD
Anyway, this is what I got with my 5.1 Dolby configuration; I mean, c'mon Disney, not everybody here has a 7.1 system, just include a 5.1 downmix just like you did for the stereo one!

Nonetheless it's a good enough release and although it's not my favorite Star Wars movie (and it's far from being it), it did made me watch it, so I'm ok with it.
The 7.1 track has a core classic Dolby Digital 5.1 640 Kbps track for devices without TrueHD support.
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Old 26th April 2020, 23:06   #5  |  Link
FranceBB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquallMX View Post
The 7.1 track has a core classic Dolby Digital 5.1 640 Kbps track for devices without TrueHD support.
Got it. That makes sense.
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Old 29th April 2020, 18:57   #6  |  Link
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Hi FranceBB,
I was under the impression that the ATSC Transport stream can only carry up to ~19Mbps
so that any video stream would have to be squashed down to ~17Mbps, no matter if FHD or UHD.
Now I just read up:
"The realization that the 19.39Mb/s Grand Alliance transport stream (TS) could carry multiple SD programs was an afterthought, probably by business analysts. This did not please Congress or the FCC who had granted a second 6MHz channel to stimulate simulcast HD transmission"....
Is it these 6MHz additional carrier that can be used to get 25Mbps in total ?

Edit: I just read up further, DVB seems to apply different bitrate limits, it is a table, different across DVB-T and DVB-C and DVB-S...
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Last edited by Emulgator; 29th April 2020 at 19:14.
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